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Author Topic: Retrotron: 1984 (5/3/14) Death of Retrotron: 1984  (Read 11824 times)

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opt2not

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/10/12 - Artwork Arrived!)
« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2012, 05:19:34 pm »
So demanding...  :angry:







 ;)

Ryglore

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/10/12 - Artwork Arrived!)
« Reply #41 on: November 13, 2012, 09:59:58 am »
You know it!  :D

Ryglore

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/14/12 - We've Hit a Snag in Paint Hell)
« Reply #42 on: November 14, 2012, 09:38:54 am »
Whelp. I was working on the the mounts for the control panel and there were 2 strips of wood in the way. My only guess was that madk put them there for mounting the original CP to the cab. But, they were in the way thanks to the new button layout and needed to be removed...

Thinking that they were just glued in place (since I didn't see any screws) I took the carpenter's hammer to it and found that they were actually screwed on from the outside... So I attempted to remove the screws and ended up pulling the side paint and some wood out of the side. I tried to carefully remove the paint but eventually ended up with a couple of huge bare spots showing what is either primer or the original paint.

I figured it wasn't a huge deal and I could just sand the edge of the top coat down to make the transition from one to the other smooth. But, after 30 mins of sanding I just ended up with the edge rolling up and more paint coming off, making the bare spot even larger. After another hour of options weighing, I decided to take the plunge and strip both sides of the cab down to bare wood (fun!).

So, a couple nights ago I went and bought some Citristrip paint stripper. After reading a few reviews on it and deciding it was the best bet for stripping paint indoors, I ran to Home Depot for the 4th day in a row. Last night, after letting the stripper do it's work all day I started work on the scraping. I started around 7:30p last night and had one side done around 10:30-11p. I started work on the other side, but for some reason the paint didn't bubble up and peel as nice as the 1st one and was a bear to scrape. So I scraped it down as best I could and left it sit for the night.

Tonight I hope to get the rest of the other side scraped down then both sides cleaned and sanded. Then I can start priming and painting and get back on track. I really didn't want to strip paint, but after trying a bunch "quick" fixes over the course of a day or so I felt like I had no choice. I don't think this will really hurt my timeline though. But I have 9 days to go and really can't afford any more set backs. Especially where paint is concerned.

 :angry:

sharpfork

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/14/12 - We've Hit a Snag in Paint Hell)
« Reply #43 on: November 14, 2012, 09:49:48 am »
I know more than a few folks who have been in similar positions with paint going bad late in the game, including myself.  :cry:
Try to give the paint enough time to cure before moving on to whatever the next step is.  Patience will be key with a tight timeline and painting involved...

The cab really looks great so far...

Ryglore

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/14/12 - We've Hit a Snag in Paint Hell)
« Reply #44 on: November 14, 2012, 10:08:28 am »
Ya, unfortunately if I had been able to stay at my own place for the 1st 2 weeks of the project I would have been doing the cabinet / paint work first. But since I had to house sit and couldn't take it with me I ended up doing things slightly backwards. But at least I was able to do the Artwork and get those in hand well before I needed them.

I think the biggest problem I face is that the main paint color is a 2 part process. So I have to be able to let the Primer cure, base coats cure, top coats cure and then 2 sets of stenciling. That's at least 5 days of painting, if I'm lucky. But after the paint is done, all I need to do is lay down graphics, add plexi for over the monitor and wire it.


Ryglore

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/16/12 - Paaaaaaint...)
« Reply #45 on: November 17, 2012, 12:50:36 am »
Hey all, thought I'd toss out the progress with the paint situation.

It took a few days, but I was able to get all the paint scraped off of the sides of the cab. It totally wreaked my hands, arms and shoulders but now it should be smooth sailing. I used Citristrip to peel the paint off of the sides, which turned out to work pretty well and it is safe for indoor use thanks to the lack of harmful fumes. It took me 2 days work to get it down to bare wood though, thanks to the amount of layers of paint there was on this thing and the wood underneath actually looked pretty good, even in the bottom edge. After it was down to bare wood, I laid it on each side and sanded the crap out of it, wiped it down and started priming.

Stripping begins, at this point I was really second guessing my decision...


Stripping the other side, still not sure if it was the right idea at this point...


Bare Wood HO!


Now, I have the primer on the sides and have repainted the black areas with Flat Matte Black Behr Ultra paint. I have a few low spots in the sides that I have patched and will need to resand them down and reprime tomorrow. But that shouldn't be a problem, as I can prime the sides again and then run to get the material for the stencils while it's drying. I also have the CP primed and 1 coat of black on it at the moment. I'll put another coat of black on both the CP and the cab tomorrow as well.

Primed side, as you can see I don't have the luxury of the spacious garage anymore.


1st Coat of the re-painted black areas. Excuse the spots, turns out my lens is super dirty on my camera...


Today also marks the 1 week home stretch. This time next week, the cab has to be in place at my buddy's house. That way next Saturday a gaggle of little kids will get to play on it for the 1st time ever. As far as getting this done, I'm pretty confident that I won't have much to worry about. I guess the biggest issue is whether or not the side paint turns out crappy, since it's a 2 part metallic process (damn my need for authenticity!). Or if the stencils bleed under. But I am sure that I have enough painting skill to pull off the 2 part process for this paint and that based on my experience with tape bleeds on SHMUP that I won't let that mistake happen again with the stencils.

Wish me luck, I'll be needing it. 

SpaceHedgehog

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/16/12 - Paaaaaaint...)
« Reply #46 on: November 18, 2012, 04:17:24 am »
Looks like a huge amount of effort to get that stripped back. Great job. How are your arms holding up?
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sharpfork

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/16/12 - Paaaaaaint...)
« Reply #47 on: November 18, 2012, 11:11:19 am »
 :censored:  :banghead: PAAAAINT!  :banghead: :censored:

I'm glad that the most annoying part of the work is done.  This must have been torture:


I find it somewhat humorous that pics of my cab in my basement would have a similar keyboard and elliptical in them.

Ryglore

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/16/12 - Paaaaaaint...)
« Reply #48 on: November 18, 2012, 05:06:20 pm »
@SpaceHedgehog Ya it was a bear to do, my arms are good now. Holy crap, I couldn't grasp anything the day after I finished, actually, the 2nd day worth of stripping I had to use both hands to scrape with.

@sharpfolk oh it was, but I just put on my headphones and went into music trance mode. And that's funny about the keyboard and elliptical, I don't even know why we still have it down there, the batteries were left in it and they leaked, so it doesn't work anymore.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 05:36:05 pm by Ryglore »

Ryglore

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/18/12 - More Paaaaaaint, plus CP work & Marquee Light)
« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2012, 12:57:05 am »
This weekend I was able to knock out the base coats and 2 top coats on the sides of the cab. In case I haven't mentioned it, I'm using Valspar Brilliant Metals Pewter Luster for the sides, thanks to Opt2Not again for recommending it as he mentioned to me that it's about as close as I can get to the real thing. Of course that also means that it's a two part process of base coat and top coat to give it that metallic look.

Here's a pic of the side with just the "Weather Fossil" gray on it (I didn't get a picture of the silver top coat yet).


You'll also notice I have the marquee light in place too. It was super easy to install, and I think I may need redo my light on the SHMUP soon. I can't wait to see it lit up. Basically I just took two angle brackets and screwed them to a board, this was then used to screw the Nova Matrix Lynx to and finally screwed into place matching existing holes in the top of the cab. Pretty cake, really.

Mounting the Nova Matrix


Marquee Light in Place


I also have the power on light mounted and the exit and pause buttons hidden in the ceiling of the speaker panel. I used a spare set of Atari Volcanos that were laying around from the Centipede bartop I am slooooowly working on (working being used very lightly here). These were recessed into the speaker panel w/ a forstner bit.

I do love me some hidden buttons.


Since I was waiting for paint to dry, I decided to get to work on the Control Panel tonight. I had previously primed and painted it, and was ready to lay the artwork down. When I ordered it, I had Scott @ Game on Grafix make it adhesive backed so I didn't have to worry about dealing with spray adhesive. It worked really well! The only problem I had was since it was shipped in a tube it wanted to be unwieldy and curl a little. But that's more my fault for not having a place to lay it out until I was ready for it.

Primed and Painted and ready for graphics!


Fancy pants new Retrotron: 1984 CP Art in place!


Now, I'd like to say that it was smooth sailing the entire time I was dealing with the CP art... But when I was locating holes I noticed something and my heart sank, or maybe more like my stomach churned... Every button hole seemed to line up perfectly... EXCEPT the one in the middle of the crosshair. Any other one and I could have not worried about it, but when you're planning on having something centered directly on top of it and it's not it's heartbreaking.

I started cutting the holes and went to that one first. It turned out to be about an 1/8" off center to the left... I could have cryed. And if I had the time, and if it was for myself I would have prolly looked everything over and redone whatever was amiss. I was certain that the art was correct for the placement of the hole, since I made the artwork THEN finalized button placement based off of it. As it turned out, somehow when I was drilling the holes I drilled that one off to the side. I don't know how I managed it. But, well, take a look.

Noooooooooo!


After I finished cutting the holes I fit the joystick into place and gladly both the P1 and P2 joys line up perfectly. But, then as I was mounting the 4 way i realized something wonderful. The holes for the stick are slotted and allow for left/right adjustment! Not only that, but since I couldn't put the dust washer under the CP for the 4 way, that washer sits on top of the artwork... hmm. So I fit the joystick body into place and hoped a little bit. And I was able to move it over.

Joystick mounted in place. Looks like it could work...


Joystick w/ shaft and dustwasher mounted... It looks good! And it doesn't seem noticeable, unless you lift the dustwasher up! (yes!)


And finally here's what she looks like w/ the buttons in place and the other sticks.


I'm now in the midst of wiring the CP. I'm putting the IPAC on the underside of the CP to help save on wire and will be running everything that is on the cab itself down to it. I ended up buying a new soldering iron, because for some reason I can't find my old one and I've been searching for it for 3 days now.

And last but not least, I give you the kickplate. I made it out of a scrap piece of sheet steel and cut it down to size and have drilled a few holes into it for screwing it to the face of the cab. It's plenty thick enough to give that last little bit of support to the bad wood on the face, while being thin enough to not look hokey. I'll be taking it back to work tomorrow with the corner protectors and spraying them all with truck bed liner for added durability. I even painted the screws I am going to use black so they remain hidden from view.

Kickplate all drilled and ready to go.


That should be it for now, other than the minor achievement of making the tokens slide through coin mechs made for quarters. I hope to get the stencils made tomorrow after work. And maybe I can get them painted on the sides on Tuesday, once the paint has set a while. Of course, that all depends on if I need to do a quick wetsand job on the sides to help smooth them out. Sadly, I may have to live with whatever the finish looks like on the main paint... if for not other reason that I only have 4 work days left.

« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 01:00:51 am by Ryglore »

SpaceHedgehog

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/18/12 - More Paaaaaaint, plus CP work & Marquee Light)
« Reply #50 on: November 19, 2012, 03:33:13 am »
Thank heavens for large dust washers! Nice recovery.
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emphatic

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/18/12 - More Paaaaaaint, plus CP work & Marquee Light)
« Reply #51 on: November 19, 2012, 05:01:21 am »
I'd put all three washers on top to make it consistant. :cheers:

Ryglore

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/18/12 - More Paaaaaaint, plus CP work & Marquee Light)
« Reply #52 on: November 19, 2012, 09:19:56 am »
Thank heavens for large dust washers! Nice recovery.

I know right? Interestingly, the dust washer on this 4 way is a lot smaller than most washers I've dealt with before. I just got suuuuper lucky.

I'd put all three washers on top to make it consistant. :cheers:

Unfortunately, since the washers are embedded in the CP, that's impossible. But I did show my buddy the pic of it all assembled, and he likes it, so I guess that's all that matters, right?

Btw emph, I was able to finally snag a copy of Mushihime-sama Futari. Thanks for the heads up on it awhile back.  :cheers:

emphatic

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/18/12 - More Paaaaaaint, plus CP work & Marquee Light)
« Reply #53 on: November 19, 2012, 12:07:49 pm »
Unfortunately, since the washers are embedded in the CP, that's impossible. But I did show my buddy the pic of it all assembled, and he likes it, so I guess that's all that matters, right?

Btw emph, I was able to finally snag a copy of Mushihime-sama Futari. Thanks for the heads up on it awhile back.  :cheers:

*facepalm* I should have remembered about the dustwashers, dammit. It does look good though. About Futari, get the Black Label DLC, it's a re-balanced version, and a much better game IMHO (search for "Hutari" in the marketplace as it's labelled incorrectly).

Ryglore

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/18/12 - More Paaaaaaint, plus CP work & Marquee Light)
« Reply #54 on: November 19, 2012, 01:01:58 pm »
Oh sweet. I'll look into that.

opt2not

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/18/12 - More Paaaaaaint, plus CP work & Marquee Light)
« Reply #55 on: November 19, 2012, 02:13:39 pm »
Great progress this weekend bud! The pewter looks great. Did you roll it? And if so, what is the plan for the sparkly second coat?

I gotta ask, couldn't you use another cheap button for the hidden one? 
Seems like a massive waste to use the Atari Volcanoes for that...especially since it was going to be on the Centi-bartop!

Also, if you need a couple extra dust washers for the top, I might have some spares laying around. The zippy's use the same washers as the LS-32's I think.  I can't check my stockpile and see what I have.

Ryglore

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/18/12 - More Paaaaaaint, plus CP work & Marquee Light)
« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2012, 03:04:57 pm »
Great progress this weekend bud! The pewter looks great. Did you roll it? And if so, what is the plan for the sparkly second coat?

Yup, I rolled it on. The 2nd coat has been rolled twice now and tonight I'll be wet sanding it. The top coat seems to be slightly more runny than regular paint and has some runs in it. So tonight I'll run and get a couple sanding sponges and get to work smoothing it all out.

Quote
I gotta ask, couldn't you use another cheap button for the hidden one? 
Seems like a massive waste to use the Atari Volcanoes for that...especially since it was going to be on the Centi-bartop!

Oh those aren't the ones I'm using for the Centipede. During the course of the planning of the Centi, I bought 3 sets of volcanoes. These ones were the 1st batch. I've since gotten some lit ones for the Centipede and will be using them for it.

Quote
Also, if you need a couple extra dust washers for the top, I might have some spares laying around. The zippy's use the same washers as the LS-32's I think.  I can't check my stockpile and see what I have.

Nah, it's cool. I like how it looks too and I'm sure his son won't care that one has a dust washer on top and the other 2 are underneath.

Ryglore

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/21/12 - Wiring the CP & Cab, Bezel mounted)
« Reply #57 on: November 21, 2012, 09:15:18 pm »
Alrighty, so here's what's happened since the last update.

First I took the corner protectors and the kickplate back to work and sprayed them up with Rustoleum Truck Bed Liner, the can suggests coating it on the piece and then giving it a quick 2nd coat after 2-3 minutes, then follow with a recoat again after an hour. So I put 3 coats on each, which I guess would come out to 6-8 coats of bed liner on them. So, I'm hoping they will hold up fairly well to abuse. I also painted up more screws for mounting the corner brackets to the cab, since the old ones rusted and rotted from moisture. Later on that night I installed the kickplate, and it looks really good on there!

Bed Liner drying on the Kickplate and Corners


Kickplate Installed


While I was working on the Kickplate I devised a way to hold the plexiglass down on the cab. I took a piece of luan and screwed it to the bottom of the bezel area as a small shelf and then took a piece of 3/4" x 3/4" aluminum angle, which I painted black, and screwed it to the edge of the control panel. After checking it I decided I needed to trim the luan back and after a few passes w/ my knife it lays in place nicely.

Painting the Angle


Since I was waiting to paint to fully cure last night I decided to get the CP wired as well. It took a bit, but I did it all while sitting in my living room watching a movie. After it was all set up, I plugged it into the PC for testing, but couldn't understand why the 5 and 6 buttons on either side weren't registering. I did some testing and it was all registering on the ipac programming software, but I couldn't get it to work in mame. I even checked the SHMUP to see if they were working on my cab and they were on the P1 side but not the P2 side... After more testing and frustration I realized that P1 5 and 6 are registered as mouse buttons. The reason why they work on SHMUP is because P1 5 and 6 on that are mouse inputs from my trackball. But I never set up P2 5 and 6 and so it was never working this whole time (shows how many fighting games I play, eh?). So I set them up and went on to test other things. Eventually I got it all working properly and reprogrammed the Ipac's P2 7 and 8 as Esc and P for Exit and Pause while I was at it.

CP all wired.


After this was all done, I went to the basement to install it into the cab. I wired the coin door to the coin inputs on the IPAC and the P2 button 7 and 8 inputs to their respective buttons hidden in the speaker panel. I also ran the ground for the power on button, but not the power line yet. Once everything was wired I placed the CP into the cab and went to work on the bezel.

CP wired into the cab!


The monitor surround slightly worried me, as I was (only for a second) unsure if I had made all my measurements correct. I laid it out on the table and with my metal ruler and xacto blade I went to down cutting the center out of it. Once this was done, I took the plexi and cut it to width. I started out with a 24" x 48" piece of material. Based off of some measurements I took before I started, I was able to determine that 24" was the height I needed to get into the groove in the speaker panel and onto the ledge I made with the luan. So, I only needed to make a single cut. Again w/ the metal ruler and xatco blade, plus my box cutter pocket knife I scored the line on both sides and easily snapped it into a 24" x 22 7/8" piece. I then took it and the bezel to the basement, slid the CP off the cab and put the bezel and plexi into place.

View #1 - Front view, Bezel, plexi and CP mounted!


View #2 - 3/4 view.


Once this was done I called it a night, but not before I placed the marquee on the front really quick to get a feel for how it's going to look when finished! Tonight I'm working on the stencils for the side art and will be painting the blue on shortly. While that's drying I'm going to work on getting the speaker control/sub mounted and get it prepped to take the PC. We're getting into the final stretch! I have to get this done by Friday night. I'm pretty optimistic that I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and not that other light... you see when you're dead.  :)

Marquee temporarily in place.

emphatic

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/21/12 - Wiring the CP & Cab, Bezel mounted)
« Reply #58 on: November 22, 2012, 02:39:50 am »
 :applaud:

opt2not

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/21/12 - Wiring the CP & Cab, Bezel mounted)
« Reply #59 on: November 22, 2012, 02:47:41 am »
Going to copy and paste what I've sent to you here, 'cause I'm sure others will agree:

"One thing I gotta say about your work, is you really can put a theme together and have it be tasteful and appealing! Just like your Shmup cab!
Even though this takes more queues from Robotron, it still is really well applied to the cab's shape and modifications. "

 :applaud: :cheers:

mgb

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/21/12 - Wiring the CP & Cab, Bezel mounted)
« Reply #60 on: November 22, 2012, 10:34:35 am »
Going to copy and paste what I've sent to you here, 'cause I'm sure others will agree:

"One thing I gotta say about your work, is you really can put a theme together and have it be tasteful and appealing! Just like your Shmup cab!
Even though this takes more queues from Robotron, it still is really well applied to the cab's shape and modifications. "

 :applaud: :cheers:

definitely agreed.
I normally don't care for a third joystick for a 4-way but this was very tastefully done as well.

Ryglore

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/21/12 - Wiring the CP & Cab, Bezel mounted)
« Reply #61 on: November 22, 2012, 04:43:05 pm »
Thanks guys!

Ryglore

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/24/12 - Work Complete? Not really...)
« Reply #62 on: November 24, 2012, 09:23:46 pm »
Been really busy the last few days trying to keep on schedule. It included lots of paint, stenciling and wiring. It also included a bit of blood, exhaustion, stress and disappointment. But ended with a happy ending anyway, thanks to a small sacrifice.

I got all of the painting done last night and at 4 am I was able to get the last of it on there, in the form of the Blue N in the logo. I started a few days ago by making stencils out of the frisket film from Hobby Lobby. I ended up having to run out to get sharpies Wednesday night though, which proved to be a pain in the ass, thanks to Thanksgiving. Apparently Staples closes early, and I was forced to go to Meijer and deal with pre-Thanksgiving shoppers.

Once the stencils were made, which I made 2 for the Blue, 2 for the Red and 2 more for the Blue N of the logo. I went into the basement and started laying out the stencils and taping off the stripes for the rest of the graphics. After a bunch of work laying it out I finally had the blue painted on, sometime around 2 am on Thursday morning. But, some of the blue peeled off as I was removing the stencil... this was disappointment #1.

Stencil for the Red lettering


Sides taped off for the blue paint


Blue painted on, the other side looked way worse.


The next day I laid out the stencil for the red and stripes and then rolled the red on. I first mixed some of my primer with some of my red and rolled that on to help cover the blue. Once that was dry, I rolled on the red and it covered the blue no problem. Once that was dry, I used my xacto knife to slice the edges to keep them from peeling away. This time I had no problems and red looked great. After the red had dried I went back over with some tape and a paint brush and fixed all of the blue that had ripped.

Painting on the Red


Red strips and lettering on the side!


While the paint was drying I worked on mounting the sub for the speaker. This was pretty simple and I mounted it behind the coin door so he can access the volume, bass and treble easily. Thanks to a couple angle brackets and one of the holders from the window bolts I used on the CP It hangs in place nicely.

Rear view


Front view


When this was all set I went to work setting up the PC. I hooked it all up to the cab and turned it on, loaded up Mala and couldn't get any of the controls on P1 side to work. The P1 Start button, all 6 buttons and all but the right joystick weren't operational. At this point the CP was screwed into place, the sub was mounted and I had a bunch more cables in the way. But, since the CP wasn't working I needed to get to it to work on it. This was disappointment #2 and I ended up needing to undo everything I had just done to get to the CP to fix it. Turns out, it was  a ground issue and I needed to redo all the grounds on the P1 side of things.

I ended up staying up until 5 am last night working on things. I sliced open my finger and bled all over the underside of the CP. The last thing I did last night was get back to work mounting the PC and... somehow... I bricked it.  :cry:  :cry: This was disappointment #3 and I nearly cracked because of it. I spent the rest of the night trying to figure out what I did, but just made things worse and now all that happens when I load up the PC is it beeps at me. I seriously went to bed last night defeated, with no idea what to do. But before I went to bed, I was able to stencil the the N logo on the red circle.

Fully painted and assembled.


So today after looking into it some more, I decided that the only way to keep on schedule was to do something... drastic? I ended up pulling the PC from the SHMUP, converting all the graphics to the Retrotron layout and setting it up w/ a playlist for 4 way games and deleted the trackball list. This will give me time to look into fixing the PC, while still keeping on schedule w/ the 6pm deadline that was staring me in the face. This was the sacrifice.

Around 3pm my buddy showed up and we ran to my work to get the truck. He brought his son along and I took him into the basement to look at it. And he was thinking it looked really sweet. But still seemed clueless that it was theirs, until his dad was like "Guess what? This it ours. Remember that arcade we picked up last month so Scott could work on it for his friend? This is the same one!" After that he was speechless, which rarely happens, and he was all grins and super excited. It took a little bit of man handling to get it out of my basement and in the midst of bringing it up the stairs we scratched on of the red stripes and the 8 on one side... this was disappointment #4.

We ran for the truck and loaded it up then headed to his house to bring it to his basement. On the way there I noticed a few people checking it out as we drove passed, which is always a good feeling. When I got there the youngest son was there and saw it and I think he was even more excited about it that his brother was. I hooked up the PC and slid it into place, just in time for the 1st guests for their sleep over to show up. And at this moment there is a group of 7-8 year olds calling dibs on next turns on the Retrotron. It was totally worth all the work, problems and set backs just to see their faces. It reminded me of when we were kids at an arcade grouping around the latest game in the place in awe. It was really heartwarming to see a bunch of little kids digging all the work I put into it.

My buddy's youngest son playing the Retrotron for the 1st time. Super cute.


And the Retrotron marquee lit up with the Nova Matrix Lynx, it looks really good!


Now if you'll excuse me, I have some beer to drink and relaxing to do. Then, maybe in a day or so I'll get to work fixing the PC for the Retrotron. If i get it fixed and swapped I'll post some updates on it.



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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/24/12 - Work Completed? Not Really...)
« Reply #63 on: November 26, 2012, 05:59:55 pm »
Congrats on getting it done in time!  Sorry to hear about the hiccups along the way to finalizing, but it looks like all-in-all it turned out really nice. The corner protectors are a nice touch.   :applaud:
And the stenciling looks really awesome from these photos. I'm a huge fan of hand-stenciling, it's easy to do, and most of all cheap! :) :D

Did you get a chance to update the FE screen with the new Robotron guy I sent you?

I bet that beer and relaxation time was extra sweet to enjoy.   :cheers:


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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/24/12 - Work Completed? Not Really...)
« Reply #64 on: November 26, 2012, 07:18:29 pm »
Good job!  What model monitor is that?

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/24/12 - Work Completed? Not Really...)
« Reply #65 on: November 26, 2012, 08:38:58 pm »
Congrats on getting it done in time!  Sorry to hear about the hiccups along the way to finalizing, but it looks like all-in-all it turned out really nice. The corner protectors are a nice touch.   :applaud:
And the stenciling looks really awesome from these photos. I'm a huge fan of hand-stenciling, it's easy to do, and most of all cheap! :) :D

Did you get a chance to update the FE screen with the new Robotron guy I sent you?

I bet that beer and relaxation time was extra sweet to enjoy.   :cheers:

Thanks! Ya, it seemed to snowball a lot near the end and I was quickly losing my sanity. I wish I had been able to go w/o the corner protectors but the wood on the bottom is kinda not trustworthy. So the protectors went back on, and it's a good thing too. It was only me and my friend loading and unloading and we had to set it down on the rear corners a few times.

I'm super pleased with the way the stenciling turned out in the end too. And I did update the FE Screen, but I didn't get a screenshot of it. Here's what it ended up looking like (done in photoshop). It turned out really well! Thanks!



Good job!  What model monitor is that?

Thanks TGov! But I have no idea what model monitor this is. It was already in the cab and though I was around when it was originally mounted into the cab, I don't have a clue as to what brand it is.

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/24/12 - Work Completed? Not Really...)
« Reply #66 on: November 26, 2012, 09:50:42 pm »
Great job!
I must admit I had my doubts about the finish on the sides but it turned out great!
 :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/24/12 - Work Completed? Not Really...)
« Reply #67 on: November 26, 2012, 10:44:10 pm »
Thanks!  :cheers:

I'd be lying if I said I didn't doubt it for a second. After the 1st coat I was on the fence, but after the second coat and adequate drying time I really liked how it came out. Plus it gave me an idea on how to do metallic on another (much smaller project) I'm working on.

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/24/12 - Work Completed? Not Really...)
« Reply #68 on: November 28, 2012, 04:26:22 am »
I like the stencilling job - want to try that myself.
Never tried it but I have been told that T-cut is good for leveling out any raised edges left by the tape.
And boy did my hart sink with that control panel "situation"  :) .
Maybe you could make a feature of the dust cap - make it a bit bigger and print some extra art for it?.
Loving it so far though.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 04:57:57 am by rockyrocket »

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/24/12 - Work Completed? Not Really...)
« Reply #69 on: November 28, 2012, 08:45:50 am »
I get what you're saying, but the only way I could do something like that is to use a sticker on the dust washer. But, he's happy with the cab the way it is, so I'm not gonna worry about it.

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/24/12 - Work Completed? Not Really...)
« Reply #70 on: November 28, 2012, 09:35:06 am »
I get what you're saying, but the only way I could do something like that is to use a sticker on the dust washer. But, he's happy with the cab the way it is, so I'm not gonna worry about it.
Yeah thats what I meant - but if he is happy then its all good.

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/24/12 - Work Completed? Not Really...)
« Reply #71 on: November 28, 2012, 05:46:30 pm »
Been really busy the last few days trying to keep on schedule. It included lots of paint, stenciling and wiring. It also included a bit of blood, exhaustion, stress and disappointment. But ended with a happy ending anyway, thanks to a small sacrifice.

I got all of the painting done last night and at 4 am I was able to get the last of it on there, in the form of the Blue N in the logo. I started a few days ago by making stencils out of the frisket film from Hobby Lobby. I ended up having to run out to get sharpies Wednesday night though, which proved to be a pain in the ass, thanks to Thanksgiving. Apparently Staples closes early, and I was forced to go to Meijer and deal with pre-Thanksgiving shoppers.

Once the stencils were made, which I made 2 for the Blue, 2 for the Red and 2 more for the Blue N of the logo. I went into the basement and started laying out the stencils and taping off the stripes for the rest of the graphics. After a bunch of work laying it out I finally had the blue painted on, sometime around 2 am on Thursday morning. But, some of the blue peeled off as I was removing the stencil... this was disappointment #1.

Stencil for the Red lettering


Sides taped off for the blue paint


Blue painted on, the other side looked way worse.


The next day I laid out the stencil for the red and stripes and then rolled the red on. I first mixed some of my primer with some of my red and rolled that on to help cover the blue. Once that was dry, I rolled on the red and it covered the blue no problem. Once that was dry, I used my xacto knife to slice the edges to keep them from peeling away. This time I had no problems and red looked great. After the red had dried I went back over with some tape and a paint brush and fixed all of the blue that had ripped.

Painting on the Red


Red strips and lettering on the side!


While the paint was drying I worked on mounting the sub for the speaker. This was pretty simple and I mounted it behind the coin door so he can access the volume, bass and treble easily. Thanks to a couple angle brackets and one of the holders from the window bolts I used on the CP It hangs in place nicely.

Rear view


Front view


When this was all set I went to work setting up the PC. I hooked it all up to the cab and turned it on, loaded up Mala and couldn't get any of the controls on P1 side to work. The P1 Start button, all 6 buttons and all but the right joystick weren't operational. At this point the CP was screwed into place, the sub was mounted and I had a bunch more cables in the way. But, since the CP wasn't working I needed to get to it to work on it. This was disappointment #2 and I ended up needing to undo everything I had just done to get to the CP to fix it. Turns out, it was  a ground issue and I needed to redo all the grounds on the P1 side of things.

I ended up staying up until 5 am last night working on things. I sliced open my finger and bled all over the underside of the CP. The last thing I did last night was get back to work mounting the PC and... somehow... I bricked it.  :cry:  :cry: This was disappointment #3 and I nearly cracked because of it. I spent the rest of the night trying to figure out what I did, but just made things worse and now all that happens when I load up the PC is it beeps at me. I seriously went to bed last night defeated, with no idea what to do. But before I went to bed, I was able to stencil the the N logo on the red circle.

Fully painted and assembled.


So today after looking into it some more, I decided that the only way to keep on schedule was to do something... drastic? I ended up pulling the PC from the SHMUP, converting all the graphics to the Retrotron layout and setting it up w/ a playlist for 4 way games and deleted the trackball list. This will give me time to look into fixing the PC, while still keeping on schedule w/ the 6pm deadline that was staring me in the face. This was the sacrifice.

Around 3pm my buddy showed up and we ran to my work to get the truck. He brought his son along and I took him into the basement to look at it. And he was thinking it looked really sweet. But still seemed clueless that it was theirs, until his dad was like "Guess what? This it ours. Remember that arcade we picked up last month so Scott could work on it for his friend? This is the same one!" After that he was speechless, which rarely happens, and he was all grins and super excited. It took a little bit of man handling to get it out of my basement and in the midst of bringing it up the stairs we scratched on of the red stripes and the 8 on one side... this was disappointment #4.

We ran for the truck and loaded it up then headed to his house to bring it to his basement. On the way there I noticed a few people checking it out as we drove passed, which is always a good feeling. When I got there the youngest son was there and saw it and I think he was even more excited about it that his brother was. I hooked up the PC and slid it into place, just in time for the 1st guests for their sleep over to show up. And at this moment there is a group of 7-8 year olds calling dibs on next turns on the Retrotron. It was totally worth all the work, problems and set backs just to see their faces. It reminded me of when we were kids at an arcade grouping around the latest game in the place in awe. It was really heartwarming to see a bunch of little kids digging all the work I put into it.

My buddy's youngest son playing the Retrotron for the 1st time. Super cute.


And the Retrotron marquee lit up with the Nova Matrix Lynx, it looks really good!


Now if you'll excuse me, I have some beer to drink and relaxing to do. Then, maybe in a day or so I'll get to work fixing the PC for the Retrotron. If i get it fixed and swapped I'll post some updates on it.




Ryglore, great work man!

I feel your pain on the stencils mate, but I think they turned out looking great!  Trying to fix my stenciling problems has gound my projects to a halt until I can figure out a better way to do what I need to do....

Jigenjuke

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/24/12 - Work Completed? Not Really...)
« Reply #72 on: November 28, 2012, 05:51:45 pm »
Looks great!  Love the stencil work!  :applaud:

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (11/24/12 - Work Completed? Not Really...)
« Reply #73 on: December 04, 2012, 03:23:31 pm »
Ryglore, great work man!

I feel your pain on the stencils mate, but I think they turned out looking great!  Trying to fix my stenciling problems has gound my projects to a halt until I can figure out a better way to do what I need to do....

Jigenjuke

Thanks! I found that Frisket Film from Hobby Lobby worked really well. But I had to make sure to cut the paint with my knife before I pulled it. After I did that the rest of the stencils went really well. Also, I used Frog Tape for the stripes and that stuff worked amazingly well, I wish I had used it on my SHMUP cab. No under runs at all.

Looks great!  Love the stencil work!  :applaud:

Thanks man. I was a nervous wreck the whole time I was doing them.  :cheers:

A small little update:

Tomorrow I am taking the PC for the Retrotron to madk's house. He's a lot better with PC hardware than I am, so I'm hoping we can get this thing figured out. If so I should be swapping "boards" soon. I hope so anyway, we are having a New Years Eve party this year and I really want to have the SHMUP up and running (and possibly upgraded) for it.

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (12/12/12 - It's ALIIIIIVE! ...again)
« Reply #74 on: December 13, 2012, 12:44:19 am »
Good news!

Today I took the PC for the Retrotron over to Madk's house to have him look it over, since he is waaaaay more tech savvy than me and better with computer stuff too. So after about an hour or so of look it over, testing things and removing things that aren't vital to the operation of a Mame machine, we were able to get it to boot up!

First he was able to get it to the screen I had seen before I "bricked" it. Then we go it to load up to the settings menus and finally we got it into Windows. It popped up a login screen, which I'll have to play with to make sure it never shows up again (which I think I have done, so far), and then it loaded right into Mala after that. I played around with Instant Sheller to try to keep the login screen from showing and did a few other tweaks while I was in it too. Also, for some reason the gamelist for 4 way games vanished, so I romlisted it again and got that back in order too.

Now, I just need to look it all over and play with rigging the power on button and tie into the 12v feed and ground for the marquee light and coin door lights. Hopefully that's not too much of a problem and I can get my PC back into the SHUMP. I've been itching to play some games at my house and I'm wanting to do some upgrades while I'm at it.

I'll post another update when I get the power button figured out and the PCs swapped. But for now, I'm very happy. :D

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (12/26/12 - Solving the Power Button)
« Reply #75 on: December 26, 2012, 12:58:27 pm »
Alrighty.  I'm not the most tech savvy person in my circle of friends, but I know enough to get myself in trouble. I had to figure out the power on button for the PC. It was really confusing me, because it's on a board with USB sockets and audio jacks attached to the mobo with a ribbon cable... Unlike my PC for the SHMUP which was a simple button with 2 wires going to the motherboard that I could just cut off and replace the button with an arcade button and longer wires.

After some fiddling around with it a little bit I decided to hit the contacts on the back of the board with a piece of wire to see if I could short it across and get it to start up. I tried multiple combinations of the contacts, but it only seemed to fire up if all 4 were hit. After a few more attempts I was convinced that all 4 contacts needed to be hit in order to get it to mimic the button I was bypassing.

So, soldering iron in hand, I went to work adding wires to the backside of the button. I had to have the girlfriend hold the wire in place while I steadied the iron w/ both hands, since it was such a tight space and was extremely close to the ribbon cable and I didn't want to risk burning it. It was really nerve wracking, especially since I had already almost completely screwed this PC up once.

First 2 wires soldered on.


2nd set of wires soldered on. I used Red to help me tell which was which once the cover was on.


Wired to a temp microswitch to test everything out.


I got everything done and hooked it up to my monitor and a keyboard/mouse. Hit the switch and... nothing. Fuuuuuuuuu.... I thought I screwed up the PC again. So, I cut the disconnects off of the wires and started touching them all together to see what happened and when I twisted the 2 red wires together it started to kick on, but stopped. So I tried just touching them quick and it booted right up!

Red wires on the microswitch for testing.


Apparently the green wires are unneeded and I just needed to connect the 2 legs on the button. I did some boots on it and did a few run throughs and everything went smooth w/o any issues. I then cut the green wires off the legs and ran some wire to the 12v and ground for the marquee light and we should be all set.

So, tonight I'm running to swap PCs and while I'm there he needs me to remove the flaps on the coin returns and I'm bringing the red paint, tape and a brush to touch up the couple scrapes in the side art from when we moved it out of my basement. It's a good thing too, I was really starting to itch for some arcade gaming.

EDIT: Adding a little side by side action in here.


« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 01:22:57 pm by Ryglore »

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (12/27/12 - PC Installed & Project Officially Complete!)
« Reply #76 on: December 27, 2012, 09:43:59 am »
I braved a pretty killer snowstorm last night in order to do the PC swap on the Retrotron. But thanks to a few wire nuts and the forethought to label each wire before I left, everything when super smooth. I pulled the SHMUP's PC out of the cab, undid the wiring and set it off to the side. Then I laid the Retrotron's PC into the bottom of the cab, case and all (decided against decasing it since I've already had plenty of headaches w/ this PC), and hooked up the 4 wires hanging out the front of it.

Before I slid it back into place, I test fired it to make sure it was all set to go. The PC fired up, and I showed my buddy the load up sequence for the first time. When he saw it, he seemed like he was almost as excited about the cab as he was when we first moved it into place. Once we knew everything was ready and good to go, we moved the cab back into place and I did a few tests on it to make sure everything was all set. Knocked out some Frogger, Robotron, Raiden, Street Fighter II', and a few others. No glitches in the system and all of the buttons worked like normal.

Once I was happy that there were no issues that cropped up, I loaded the SHMUP into my car, covered in a black trash bag to keep it safe from snow and braved the snow storm for another 40 minutes to get home. I then promptly installed it back into it's rightful place and converted the graphics back to my SHMUP layout and fixed my playlists back to normal, all the while contemplating a few, much needed, upgrades.

So now I can honestly say, work has been completed on the Retrotron: 1984! It was a fun project, but was filled with anxiety, frustration and nervous prayers. I even managed to rack up a few injuries on the way. But all in all it was totally worth every minute, especially when I go over there and see my buddy's kids and their friends rocking out on it. Much like when we were kids at the arcade.

Jumpman64

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (12/27/12 - PC Installed & Project Officially Complete!)
« Reply #77 on: December 27, 2012, 10:09:49 am »
Quote
especially when I go over there and see my buddy's kids and their friends rocking out on it. Much like when we were kids at the arcade.

That's what it's all about, isn't it?  Well done! :applaud:

Ryglore

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (12/27/12 - PC Installed & Project Officially Complete!)
« Reply #78 on: December 27, 2012, 10:29:58 am »
Yup. I don't have any kids, so I've never seen a bunch of them go nuts over my cab. It was super cute seeing them all fight for turns the first night we had it in place. Its totally different than a guy my age enjoying it for nostalgia, its all new to them and they are making memories as they go.

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Re: Retrotron: 1984 (5/3/14) Death of Retrotron: 1984
« Reply #79 on: May 03, 2014, 11:38:14 pm »
Sad sad news.

Today while I was gaming with the buddy I built the Retrotron: 1984 for, he told me that his basement flooded and sewer backed up. He says that the basement was flooded roughly 6-8 inches deep with sewer water and as a result, the cabinet was severely damaged. I've yet to see it, but he was saying something about it being possibly fixable (by cutting it down passed the water line). But then he'd need to put it up on to a bench or stand to make up the difference in height.

I told him that it could be possible for me to cut the bad parts off of the cabinet and perhaps splice in a new piece. Then repaint it to match. If the damage was only up about 8 inches, that would mean that the stenciling should have survived and it's only a matter of repainting the special metallic pewter. It could maybe work, but I don't really know. I'm glad nothing else in his house was damaged. All of his high end electronics and game collection was safely up off the ground. It's just really sad  about the cabinet. There was a lot of love put into this cabinet. I'd even say that it came out much nicer than the SHMUP.

I hope that we can possibly restore the Retrotron: 1984 back to it's former glory. But at this point in time, I'm not sure if it's going to happen or not.

R.I.P Retrotron: 1984  :cry:

  
 

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